Guided post-acceleration of laser-driven ions by a miniature modular structure

Satyabrata Kar, Hamad Ahmed, Rajendra Prasad, Mirela Cerchez, Stephanie Brauckmann, Bastian Aurand, Giada Cantono, Prokopis Hadjisolomou, Ciaran L. S. Lewis, Andrea Macchi, Gagik Nersisyan, Alexander PL Robinson, Anna M Schroer, Marco Swantusch, Matthew Zepf, Oswald Willi, Marco Borghesi

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55 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

All-optical approaches to particle acceleration are currently attracting a significant research effort internationally. Although characterized by exceptional transverse and longitudinal emittance, laser-driven ion beams currently have limitations in terms of peak ion energy, bandwidth of the energy spectrum and beam divergence. Here we introduce the concept of a versatile, miniature linear accelerating module, which, by employing laser-excited electromagnetic pulses directed along a helical path surrounding the laser-accelerated ion beams, addresses these shortcomings simultaneously. In a proof-of-principle experiment on a university-scale system, we demonstrate post-acceleration of laser-driven protons from a flat foil at a rate of 0.5 GeVm^-1, already beyond what can be sustained by conventional accelerator technologies, with dynamic beam collimation and energy selection. These results open up new opportunities for the development of extremely compact and cost-effective ion accelerators for both established and innovative applications.
Original languageEnglish
Article number10792
Number of pages7
JournalNature Communications
Volume7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18 Apr 2016

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